December 1, 2005
• Although the plurals 'octopusses' and 'octopi' are acceptable, the word is of Greek etymology and its correct plural is octopata.
• The octopus is the most highly evolved of the mollusks; one specimen at Sea World San Antonio was reportedly able to recognize and add numbers as large as fifteen.
• The cuttlefish is neither cuttle nor fish, but a free-swimmming mollusk. Its vestigial shell, the so-called 'cuttle-bone,' is the primary source of the world's ink supply.
• The once-mythical Kraken, now recognized as the elusive giant squid, comes on land once a year to mate and lay its eggs.
• By weight, two percent of the average human adult consists of symbiotic bacteria.
December 3, 2005
• The first tongue-twister to be written down was discovered in Egypt. Translated, it roughly reads: "Stars and water, running through the desert, throwing handfuls of sand."
• Nationally, the average parking meter collects $6.43 per day, excluding Sundays.
• One in six Britons will die without ever having tasted tea.
• In the 2004 election, John Kerry's website had, on average, eight times more total words than George Bush's.
• Nine percent of people cross days off calendars as they pass.
December 6, 2005
• Each roll of standard 35mm film contains 16 μg of uranium.
• Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have determined that 68 percent of cats' dreams are nightmares.
• Historians believe the Spanish American War was the only modern military conflict set off by mollusks: the explosion of the USS Maine, which precipitated the war, was caused by the tunneling of countless ship-worms.
• An average book in a university library has been checked out four times.
• The common notion that most people only use one quarter of their brains was proven true in 1958 by Soviet scientists, in a series of grisly experiments on petty criminals.
December 8, 2005
• A pine cone falls to the ground somewhere in the world every 0.24 seconds.
• Between 1793 and 1807 the Boston Brick Company held an exclusive patent on the production of red bricks. Historians estimate that 94 percent of brick houses built in this time period used unlicensed, illegal bricks.
• President Woodrow Wilson bathed in buttermilk once a week for its reported anti-aging effects.
• High school math teachers are 41 percent more likely to read blogs than an average, non-university teacher.
• Ten U.S. police departments use drug sniffing pigs.
December 11, 2005
• Mitchell, South Dakota has passed a city ordinance requiring citizens only use a variety of reversible air conditioner in order to help combat global warming.
• The average restaurant menu contains 17.8 entrees, but only 2.4 desserts.
• In North America, more buildings face westward than any other direction.
• Experts predict that the average .com domain name registered in the year 2015 will be 17 characters long.
• Hand grenades account for two-thirds of "friendly fire" accidents in the US military.
December 14, 2005
• Belgium is home to more world-class jazz musicians, per capita, than any other country.
• The nuclear arsenal of the United States contains the explosive equivalent of 15,000 pounds of dynamite for every man, woman and child living on Earth.
• More than half of all living mammals are rodents.
• New Jersey is home to the greatest diversity of wildlife east of the Mississippi.
• In later life, Richard Nixon's favorite 'comfort food' was Spaghetti-O's.
December 22, 2005
• 11.3 percent of household cats despise their owners.
• Six states prohibit licensed department store Santas from touching children.
• Each year, enough gift wrap is sold to coat the entire island of Manhattan twice over.
• The first references to Rudolph's "red nose" is believed to have been crude joke about the symptom of syphilis.
• On average, a US resident will hear "Frosty the Snowman" 3,219 times over the course of a lifetime.
December 24, 2005
• Two of every seven male dogs is homosexual.
• Since AD 1500, eleven major wars have broken out on Christmas day.
• OSHA standards mandate that satin ribbon be able to hold no less than 200 lbs--the weight of a large man.
• The first recorded Christmas was celebrated in AD 353.
• Christmas was illegal in Puritan Massachusetts.
December 26, 2005
• Rosie O'Donnell's grandfather worked at the Chicago Daily Tribune and typeset the famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline.
• Union County, Pennsylvania has gone for the winning presidential candidate in every national election since 1832.
• Since 1898 the word "ruddy" has moved from a first grade reading level to a 12th grade reading level, one of only 21 words to make this shift.
• NBC is in preliminary negotiations for the creation of an exclusively "Law and Order" television channel.
• The average guitar case contains 1.64 picks.
December 28, 2005
• A typical office desk is tilted at two degrees off horizontal.
• In 2004, $27 million worth of Wal-Mart gift cards expired unused.
• A national study conducted by graduate students at South Miami University determined that the average university only has five parking spots per every seven parking permits it sells.
• The original prototype for Apple's popular iPod music player was elliptical in shape.
• 72 percent of non-spam email is read but not responded to, while 12 percent is never read at all.
December 29, 2005
• One in 754 emails sent any given day is encrypted.
• Four percent of Americans can speak two or more languages fluently.
• The 16.2 million pounds of dye used in all Kool-Aid production since its introduction in 1927 could noticeably shift the color of a body of water as large as lake Ontario.
• On a weekday, an average photocopy machine will be used to carry out 31 copyright infringements.
• According to a recently released memo, President John Kennedy's advisors told him not to pledge to send a man to the moon, saying "even in 100 years, it will never be possible."
December 31, 2005
• There is no international standard as to which direction an analog clock's hands move.
• An average human has two grams of "heavy water" (H3
O) in their body.
• Microwaving a metal toroid of the proper dimensions will trap the microwave energy and cause the water vapor within briefly transition into a plasma state.
• If aimed at the sun, the Hubble telescope would gather enough light energy to melt the optics.
• In 1810 the U.S. Census found that an average American city had a horse for every three citizens, which is the same ratio of people to cars in the 2000 Census.